Released: 2011, Eonian Records
When I first heard of Eonian and their mandate to bring the finest of rare melodic Metal out of the 80’s underground I felt that there must eventually be a limitation in the source material. However, here we are and the label keeps unearthing the greatest bands that you never heard…unless they were from your local Mid-west town, in this case Sandra Dee of Illinois.
Much like the previous releases on the label, Eonian demonstrate a commitment to quality in their campaign to re-establish Hard rock. The band get a deluxe packaging treatment with photos, liner notes and a biography as well as great production. Sandra Dee are slightly heavier and perhaps more sophisticated than some of the other bands on the label but that makes them no less worthy. Perhaps the band slightly dull band lacks marquee value and may have hindered them, but we’ll never know.
Following a fairly standard career-arc, the band built up a strong local following and then relocated to San Francisco, and fell part shortly after. It’s a shame because they had the chops and a very decent song-writing as well. VISIONS OF PAIN is a pair of demos, one likely from the Illinois days and one from the California days and both sound pretty good.
Vocalist Lance is one of the band’s strengths, good grit and crunch to his voice and nice delivery as well. The ten cuts are all solid, melodic songs reminiscent perhaps of Sven Gali, just a hint of exotic flavour in the song writing. The lyrics are slightly above average and tracks like ‘Inside Yourself’ and the title track are a shade darker and heavier than their contemporaries, but still accessible and catchy. Another hidden gem for fans of the genre!